Chambit Is Happening — And Now Here’s What I’d Like to See [Nerd Girl Corner]

I’m back, ladies and gents.

As you guys know, I wrote an extensive essay (OK, maybe it wasn’t that extensive) on why I wasn’t too thrilled about Channing Tatum channing his Tatum all over Gambit in an X-Men origins movie for the character. Well guys, it’s really happening. That’s right. Channing took to his Facebook this week to confirm that he’ll be bringing his Magic Mike swivel hips to the franchise as Remy Etienne LeBeau.

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Why Legend of Korra Season 3 Is Its Best Season So Far — Nerd Girl Corner

20120505230717!The_Legend_of_Korra_opening_logoThe finale of Nickelodeon’s Legend of Korra, Book 3: Change is officially online, and it quite possibly synched this season as being its best Season thus far and possibly in the entire franchise.

I will be the first person to admit, that Legend of Korra Book 2: Spirits (Season 2) left me seemingly underwhelmed, but this latest season has definitely raised the bar by meeting quite a few of my expectations and exceeding a few others. Let’s dig in:

Note: This article is filled with tons of spoilery goodness. Please read at your own discretion… or hop on to Black Girl Nerds for my spoiler-free version. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Korra’s screw up at the end of Season 2, which ultimately had me feeling like she was the world’s worst Avatar ever, actually made the perfect intro to what would be a great Season 3. Korra decision to let the spirits roam free has caused major infrastructure damage to Republic City, which has caused the President of RC to think of Korra as a nuisance. Her attempts are rectifying the problem are a lost cause and because she’s unable to call on her past Avatar lives for help, she’s officially screwed. In addition, the harmonic convergence led to one of this Season’s villain’s, the philosopher Zaheer, to become an air bender and he uses his new talent to its fullest extent to make for a sexy breakout.

Speaking of Zaheer’s breakout, one of the best things Book 3 has offered has been the insane bending. The breakout scenes for Ghazan (the lava-bending earth bender), Ming-Hua (the double-amputee water bender), P’Li (the combustion fire bender), and Zaheer were impeccable — between the matter in which they were imprisoned, to their manner of escape, this Season was a feast for the eyes.

Another beautiful theme that made this season better than the others, has to be the resurgence of  the core of the original Avatar. We got to see Team Avatar (Mako, Bolin, Korra, Asami, Tenzin, and Lin Beifong) travel to new locales across their fantastical world, helping others along the way, which brought back an essence that was lost in both Season 1 (Book: Air) and Season 2 (Book 2: Spirits) and made the show all the better for it. With Team Avatar’s travels, there were more complex battles to be won, and its these struggles are what gives Season 3 its edge.

Where as in Book 1: Air, the big bad was Amon, and “Spirits” the villain was Korra’s uncle, Unalaq, this season we had more than one forces working against Korra. The new ruler of the Earth Kingdom, the Earth Queen, is no friend to the Avatar and deems her an enemy against the state when Korra frees the air benders from her corrupt clutches. Additionally, Korra has to combat the newly-reformed Red Lotus, whose plan of anarchy looks like a harrowing reality in part to their ruthless methods. Reestablishing the air nomad society is another problem within itself — one that Korra tries to tackle and ultimately hands off to Tenzin — oh, and then there’s Korra’s inability to know what to do because, well, she has no real spiritual guidance.

Aside from the over-arching difficulties, there are the personal ones. Coupled with Korra’s problems, are Lin’s strained relationship with her sister, Suyin, Tenzin’s determination to make the air nomads great again, and Bolin’s need to unlock his untapped potential. The way in which each character handles their own internal struggle makes for great character development, and their interaction with the new (and old) characters this season makes the story even more rich.While the Red Lotus were clearly the villains to beat this season, they were somehow likable. The manner in which they attacked each of there fights against Team Avatar was amazing, and you couldn’t help but be astonished at their sheer determination and tact. Asami and Korra’s budding friendship does wonders for the feminine prowess on the show, and Jinora’s budding romance for street urchin-turned-air bender Kai brings a little light-heartedness to the intense situation.

With the light, comes the dark and this Season’s biggest edge over the others has to be its more adult themes and dark tones. The season touched on various political ideals, including the Red Lotus’s anarchist agenda to restore true balance to the world. In order to achieve their goal, the Red Lotus would have to snuff out the world leaders, including the Avatar, and in one scene we see them do just that. This is probably the first time we’d ever seen an on-screen murder on the show, and the manner in which it was done was both chilling and spellbinding.

But what ultimately synched Season 3 as the best Season of the franchise has the be the bitter-sweet two-episode Season 3 finale (“Enter the Void”/”Venom of the Red Lotus”). After Tenzin endures a cruel beating by the Red Lotus, most of the hope is lost by our Team Avatar, even after they create a bonafide plan to recapture the air nomads out of the Red Lotus’ possession and take down the crew. It’s at this point, that much like the epic four-part series finale of Avatar (Book 3: Fire, “Sozin’s Comet”), each of the members of Team Avatar squares off with the Red Lotus in a do-or-die battle. Relationships are mended, untapped potential is realized, there’s bending galore, another gruesome on-screen death, and Team Avatar makes out in the last second, but there are dire repercussions that make the show more human than it has ever been before. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but for some of the characters, there’s tons of lingering doubt.

Whereas last season, when I watched each new episode out of routine, this season I watched longing to know what was going to happen next, and literally putting my hands over my eyes for fear that Korra and her team were going to fall ten steps back. This time there was an added element to it that made it all worth my incessant fangirling over the trailer worth every second of it. I wanted to cry. In the same way that I wanted to cry when watching Avatar come to an end, but this time, it was different. The aftermath touched me to the core as there was much to rejoice over as much as there was much to be uncertain of. I felt invested in Korra. She had redeemed herself in more ways that one and for the first time since ever seeing Korra, I wanted to thank her for doing her best.

My only gripe would have to be the fact that we didn’t get more of a backstory for the members of the Red Lotus, but for their short tenure, they definitely left their mark.

It wouldn’t be fair to me to leave out the artwork and artistry in writing as a contributing factor to this season, so I must add that all of it accounted for this season being great. For that, I thank creators, Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko for really pushing the envelope this season. I commend them, thank them for making riveting animated TV, and its my sincerest hope that they continue to astound us again on Legend of Korra Book 4.

For a review of Legend of Korra Book 3: Change finale “Enter the Void”/”Venom of the Red Lotus” read what Complex had to say

Did you watch the Legend of Korra Book 3: Change finale? What did you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments or chat on Twitter

Burned by Farenheit 451

“You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.”

These were the words that I read in the back of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. And it’s almost as though I cannot escape them. Isn’t this the universal truth about anything that you invest your time and energy into? You either love it or you don’t.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m halfassing my goals because I’m not in love with them. Maybe I’m just in love with the idea and not the action itself … just like those women who love weddings and the idea of love but forget that they have to be in love and in a marriage the next day. Maybe…

After I finished Farenheit 451 I thought to myself, what would happen to us if there weren’t any books? What would happen to us, if we didn’t have a few words on a page to enlighten, to inspire, to sympathize? What if we only had bright lights and sounds to comfort us? Immediately, I thought I’d go insane. Even though I do not read as much as I would like to, the idea of having my face glued to a colorful box 24/7/52 just made me lose it internally. Can you imagine how mushy our brains would become?

But then I thought about the bigger issue … the issue of having a cause to fight for. And I wondered if I was “fighting” hard enough to become what I ultimately want to be. I know that my writing isn’t up to par, and that half the time (well, in the past few months, rather) my thoughts are disjointed … slightly incoherent. But does that mean I should stop all together — or just fight harder?

“They must write you. They must control you,” said Bradbury. “They plot me. I never control. I let them have their lives. ”

Word.

“I just let them speak. I don’t control them; I simply give them a podium and let them talk to me. All my good stories are told to me by the characters. I don’t write my stories. They write me.”

I used to just sit and wait. And then all of a sudden, a wave would wash over me. I would just start typing and typing away and next thing you know, there were characters on a page. And they were doing things. And saying things. And loving people. And kissing people. And killing people. The experience was like … a movie playing in the dark recesses of my mind and my hands were trying ever so hard to catch every moment, every detail so that it was out of my mind and onto a medium that everyone else could see. But it seems as though the movie theater is closed. And No matter how hard I try to pry it open, the boards are nailed down tight.

“You have to believe in that self as a writer, or you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Is it that my belief is not as strong … that I lack the appropriate amount of faith? Three unfinished novels, an unfinished novella and an unfinished book of short stories. People say that stories cannot write themselves, but I believe they can.

Maybe my characters have abandoned me until I am ready once again to give them all their much needed attention. Maybe they’re waiting until I fully believe that I am the one to tell their stories.

My Need to Stop “Wanting”

I need to stop “wanting” to do something and just do it.

I went on Instagram the other day and captioned this Michael’s inspirational photo with this spiel about how I need to be more creative, and/or write more. Ask me what I’ve done so far. Go ahead, ask. Better yet, why don’t you guess. That’s right … nothing.

I’ve got this huge mental block that’s a mixture of procrastination and utter fear and it’s making me freak the f-ck out. My ultimate goal in life is to be a creator — in multiple senses of the word and I find that my creative process is just not what it used to be. And that scares me. Have I lost it? Have I lost my ability to create?

Most nights I feel as though I’m sitting the dark, waiting for the muses to speak. A soft whisper, whimper, anything in my ear. And I just can’t find it. I can’t find the words or the will to start. Am I going deaf, or are they just not talking anymore?

“I want to…” is how I preface sentences these days. I don’t like it. The only way to make it stop is to be proactive and my normal surges of artistic, innovative energy are just NOT there.

I swear, this is why some of the more creative people throughout history had to smoke opium, or drink heavily in order to produce masterpieces. This damn pressure to make something out of nothing. It’s insane!

But I’m rambling…

I saw a lady today and I tried to craft a hint story about her:

“She reminded me of mocha and chocolate, but looked nothing like it. Pouted lips and tiny wefts of hair she struggled to contain with a pin.”

Then after a minute of thinking, I found that I didn’t like it. And it was a word over. But in the back of my mind I congratulated myself, stating that at least I tried. I wanted to craft a hint story and I did. Failed technically, but I went after it.

Where has the inspiration gone? Am I going insane? Am I slowly but surely going out of it because I’m over-thinking and over-analyzing the situation at hand? It should be pretty simple to just do something — to just get up, and push myself to write something or craft something. To just do, instead of wanting to do.

Is this quarter life crisis just kicking my ass in more ways than one?

GRRRRRRRRR!

In the past, when I wrote, it was almost like an out-of-body experience — my thoughts just floated onto the page and came alive on their own. I was a vessel and the story, its characters, the emotions … everything just came out of me just like Ray Bradbury said about all his best stories. They wrote themselves and he was just the person, the vessel they used to come into existence. Sigh..

Well, at least I wrote today. That’s better than nothing.

Misled – Poetry

I don’t know when I became Miss Led.

Ms. Led on too damn long.

Ms. Led to sing that same god damn song.

When did I become the follower and forgot to lead?

When did I forgot the importance of my needs?

Last time I checked, there wasn’t a Mrs. in front of my name,

and I shouldn’t have to go through this round-about game.

I don’t know when I became Miss Led.

Ms. Led on the wrong path by the same ol’ guide.

Ms. Led to into believing truths when they continue to lie.

Ms. Led thinking that you’ll always be around.

Ms. Led thinking there was something good to be found.

Ms. Led always trying to see a better side of the same token.

Ms. Led thinking that we could possible fix what was once broken.

I don’t know how I became Miss Led…

Especially when it’s not my name.

 

 

 

The Left Hand of Darkness Made Me See The Light

I completed The Left Hand of Darkness  with about 7 days left in the month to go, achieving my first goal of finishing the epic sci-fi novel before the end of May.

As I mentioned before, the book is slightly dense, and the hardest yet most endearing part of the book dealt with the journey of  the two main characters, Genly and Estraven, across this massive ice land. I didn’t think I would make it through, much like the characters. But I did. And when I made it through with them, it was a quick succession of events that ended with me being very teary-eyed. I may have shed a tear or two.

So … what did I take from the book?

1. To Push Beyond the Envelope
If it’s one thing that Ursula definitely does throughout most of this novel, it’s making you think. From the introduction to the end of the book, this woman had my brain working overtime. First she gives me an an androgynous/sexless/hermaphroditic society, then he poses questions about the consequences of equality, and then she talks about the duality of a person, while weaving in all these sociological and political undertones. It was like:

2. To Make a Story Rich
TLHOD had a lot of vocabulary. At one point I thought I was straight out stupid because I didn’t know half of the words in this book. Then I realized that she made them up! And used them so flawlessly in between actual words that I couldn’t tell the difference. And of course, her story was made all the richer for it because her world was complete with its own words to describe its culture

and last but not least…

3. Don’t Be Afraid of a Long Tale
As I previously mentioned before, I only got into TLHOD after hearing it mentioned in a movie I watched a while back.  It was only after I started reading the book, did I learn that it was a part of a larger tale. One of my fears it to have a story that’s really now and not interesting, but sometimes it does take several tales (sometimes even different ones that interweave in and out) to tell a story, or make it more interesting. Not to mention, I loved the way Ursula changed her narration between scientific findings, to the point of view of one character to the legend of a group people to the point of view of another character for the same event.

That’s about it for now. Oh, I’ve also started on book 12 of 13 in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (aka the True Blood books) called Deadlock.

After this book, it’s Dead Ever After and then we can say goodbye to all the characters that I’ve grown to hate, dislike, loathe, can’t stand, and love. However, I did read somewhere that we can apparently expect an epilogue novel with a follow-up of all the main characters. *shrugs*

Con Amor,
-Alja

Untitled Musings #6.5

I didn’t want to believe that he got that bruised eye in a fight. His face was too sweet for that. His downy soft baby blues were those that could only belong to the gentlest of God’s creatures. Maybe he got in an accident…a rousing game of football maybe? His six-year-old niece or nephew accidentally hit him with an elbow. He was a bit miffed at the time, but held back his anger toward the paid to not scare the kid. Or maybe his cute but clumsy girlfriend mistakenly punched a bit too hard while they pretended to fight in their cozy one bedroom apartment. His clothes alone made him seem like a seemingly pacifistic person: grey wool jacket, colorful plaid shirt, coifed hair kept disheveled by the headphones over his head. Anyone that peaceful looking couldn’t get a bruise like that in a heated rage filled fight.

His knuckles showed no sign of bruising…except for a cut on the knuckle of the index finger of his right hand. No one carefully shooting through his MP3 player looking for a train ride selection could’ve gotten that bruise on his eye in a fight. No one with a big brown satchel, possibly filled with books, music, an old sweaty gym shirt and towel could’ve gotten that eye bruised in any way that wasn’t purely by mistake.

Playing Games – Poem

Amazing-
I consistently find myself in these awkward situations
amused by seemingly promising and provoking conversations
then left in a state of silent infatuation
degraded,
deflated.

I’ve opened Pandora’s box and find the lid too heavy to shut
second guessing,
ever questioning,
the mixed feelings and anxiety wrestling restlessly in my gut.

Stalking,
gawking,
looking for some glimmer of a response, a clue, to find
what’s going on to give a little ease to the thoughts in my mind
hoping to put these puzzle pieces in a straight line.

Confused,
at first amused, but now bemused
I refuse to be in this trapping contraption
attracted by attention and undone by dejection
waiting for the other shoe to drop – or should I say
flip-flop.

Phasing,
getting ready to start the process of fading,
putting memories into the furthest recesses for bating
as I can no longer provide energy to keep concentrating
on my infallible ability to attract derogating.

No more debating.
No more waiting,
tired of being the patient to this impatient torture of never knowing what lies beneath
just to learn there’s nothing below the surface that I seek.
Tired of being the mouse-turn-cat in this chase
just to end up losing the race.

This time I’m resigning from the game before the stakes get to high
no poker face
no saving grace
I fold and leave without the little tid-bits I’ve already sold.

No More – Poetry

Some days I wonder to myself
“What’s the use?”
the back and forth’s been
going around in circles
and we can never get to a
point of parallel lines –
going forward with no
inteferring intersection.

It’s humorous how time
can make barely existing
troubles stew into
never ending shouting matches –
dreams disappear and from
the shadow of doubt
nightmares take its place.

Why do we bother?
What love do we have to keep us
united when silence slowly
tears us apart and we both don’t
care to mutter words to keep it
together.

What we once had was beautiful,
but it seems almost impossible
to recover, it seems like
“Once Upon A Time,” we were
requited lovers.

But now, the dust has settled
and what we had feels lost.
The stars are going and maybe
it’s time we finally made our lives
uncrossed.

All I Ask Of You – Poem

I don’t ask for much.

Give me some time, any moment you can spare.
Give me some attention, so I won’t have to share.
Just a kiss or two when you’re standing close.
Just the trail of your finger going down my nose.

I don’t ask for flowers – I don’t care for roses.
I don’t ask for love letters – I don’t need your proses.

I don’t ask for much.

I don’t need dinners at fancy restaurants.
Your arms wrapped around me is all I can want.
Your hands on my stomach as we go off to sleep.
Your laughter in my ear as we watch some TV.

I don’t ask for rings- jewelry is not my thing.
I don’t ask for money – I don’t cost a thing.

I don’t ask for much.

Just hold on real tight and don’t let me go.
Kiss my neck and nibble on my earlobe.
Hold my hand when we walk down the street.
Give me your lap whenever I need a seat.

I don’t ask for your name – I’ve got my own.
I don’t ask for any toys – I’m way too grown

I ask for your lips, so that I can have them to kiss.
I ask for your heart, so I know that I’m missed.
I ask for arms, so I can keep your embrace.
I ask for your eyes, and the contours of your face.
I ask for your skin, your voice and the wonder of it all.
I ask for you  during spring, winter, summer and fall.